Thurs Apr 24 2014
Bert and Le Anne
“Homer Heaven” indeed! After 4 hours and 26 minutes worrying under threat of rain, and plane schedules, Le Anne and I could smile and realize we were still on the positive side in our 81 for 93 adventure. The objective being better than .500 on the road. Although we didn’t get in until 1 am, we are ready for the home schedule to get us back into 1st place before the next 10 game, the seasons longest away trip, to Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and LA beginning May 1.
But continuing the pattern at Coors field, the 22 run game included all but 5 by the Rockies that had not resulted from homers. All of the Giants 12 runs resulted from the long ball- and 400 plus footers at that. We still don’t seem to be able to bring base runners to home plate, and avoid double plays. Small ball, small ball, where for art thou?
And now the womans view….. I decided to get a good cross-section of food so decided to try gluten-free. The chicken sandwich was average. The bun was good, and light for gluten-free bread, the pepper jack cheese gave the chicken a bit of flavor, but even with the chipotle sauce, the chicken was dry. The lettuce was fresh and crispy, but the tomato was sub par. I was hoping for the gluten free brownie that Patty Calhoun had talked about in her #Westword column, but they are not offering them this season. I settled on the chocolate chip cookie which was above average. Bert had the Rocky dog with sauerkraut. It was a hefty dog and he enjoyed it. We felt the need for something after the Giants behind 5-1 so I went on the hunt for ice cream and water. Most fans would have been satisfied with a cone, but since we were both scoring the game, we needed something we could put down. The ice cream in the helmet was all the way across the stadium in section 153, so we opted for the double chocolate gelato. It was chocolate with multiple chocolate pulverized bits. It was yummy. We followed it with a smart water.
Soon we were dodging the rain drops, but the game was tied and we opted to stay and dodge the drops rather than miss the good view. We were in section 143 row 25 seats 1 and 2 which were aisle seats. The only complaint I had with the seats were the vendors were up and down the aisle almost non-stop.
As for the persons of interest we met yesterday we met Harry and Linda Nelson. They were die-hard Giants fans who had moved to Denver recently. We swapped great Giants stories for about 30 minutes prior to the game. Although there were fewer Giants fans at Coors field than in San Diego, the fans that we passed all had some comment to make on the 81for93. On the plane ride home we met an interesting gentleman named Jamie Pardi who was a Mets fan. He and Bert shared stories of New York and Yankees stadium. His company http://www.gaga-inc.com is into data and marketing. I have not been in marketing since the end of 2010 so he was able to give me a little lesson on how things have changed. Not only did he have the love of baseball being a Mets fan, but he also shared that he knew people in the Red Sox organization, and he relayed that they are a quality organization. He also shared that he met his wife at his grandmothers funeral and it has been happy ever after. I hope our Giants season continues happy ever after. I am amazed at what a unifying sport baseball is for the most part. Even the police officer who stopped traffic outside the stadium had friendly remarks to make. He was clearly a Rockies fan, because each game we lost he would remark as we left the stadium, but he admired Berts cap, and was impressed by our dedication in taking on this trip. Friendly rivalry in my opinion is a healthy thing, and for the most part I have seen a respect for and from the opposition.
We got our shirts and business cards today sharing the blog and love of the game. We will go to a home game here on Sunday and may get a blog in after the game. Bert will go with his son David on Tues.
Until the next game,
Sat April 19, 2014
Despite the loss last night, it was a great baseball game for baseball aficionados. I can’t remember seeing baseball with a “mirror image” like this was. Both teams played an identical game in all ways. The only difference was the botchy play in the 1st inning. Both starters had 9 K’s, a total of 20K’s including the relievers. Equal in hits, and LOB’s, the relievers giving up homers. It was a great game to watch. I think this bodes well for Cains revival.
An interesting sidelight; Le Anne decided to learn to score while we in Phoenix. Last night she scored the entire game, and did very well despite a recurring liability to confuse 4 and 6. For you neophytes, that means 2B and SS. She is a fast learner indeed.
After we take the series, we will head on to Denver.
Bert and I got a good look at the park. Bert thought the park had no continuity. I thought it had many micro-environs. The true fans welcomed us, and it seemed there were more Giants fans in the stadium last night. We met two couples, one a Giants season ticket holder who had tickets in section 202, and the other from Sacramento. People in general seem fascinated by Bert’s long roots in baseball, as well as this dream trip. By the next game trip we will have cards so Bert can share the blog, with those interested.
As for the food update: Bert had a Kosher dog. He said is was as good as AT&T. I had a chipotle chicken salad. My salad had greens, a generous portion of carrots and chicken, and a dressing that was spicy enough to leave my nose running. I saw some good-looking barbecue at a place called Phil’s. I am thinking about the ribs, but am wearing light pants since it should be about 70 today. It will be a game time decision.
As for my scoring I know Crawford is 6 and the short stop, so get frustrated when I get things wrong. I have changed scorecard designs 3 times in the 3 series, and Petco has a very dated electronic scoreboard. We are spoiled at AT&T. The lineup was announce quickly, to quick for even a skilled scorer like Bert to get it down on the 1st try. Attendance was 34,839 and not a sell out.
Our seats were in section 207, row 2. The seats were great and about 36 feet from the field accoring to info I read online. They were great until the people in row 1 showed up and the girl in front of me kept readjusting her bun and tossing her baby. It was a hard game for this novice score keeper. Unlike Bert who is a seasoned fan, I was disappointed in the outcome. Give Matt Cain a break and win one. He pitched a near ideal game. If Posey had been catching we would not have had the passed ball, and the game would have gone into extra innings. We need Pablo and Pence to step up to the plate, and hit!
I wanted to explore the ballpark, so we headed there to arrive 2 hours prior. As Bert said the park is sprawling and in his opinion disjointed. We learned that they don’t allow admission to the stands until 1 1/2 hours to game time, so we spent the half hour visiting with some fans from Fresno. They were there with their teenage daughter for spring break. She was not as thrilled as her dad was to be at the game. By the time we got to the opposite side of the stadium, the Giants were taking batting practice, and I elected to watch that since the seats were so close. We got to see the Padres mascot who is called the Swinging Friar. I am somewhat surprised that they chose to embrace the religious heritage of the area. It is also a title that sets itself up for jokes. They also had another person dressed up in a Lion costume and I initially thought this was the mascot. Perhaps this was a tie in to the San Diego Zoo?
Well I hope we take the series. Hudson is pitching for the Giants and has been brilliant in the starts so far. The Padres are starting a leftie, Eric Stults. I hope he has a start like his last against the Rockies, and that the Giants get the bats producing. Go Giants!
Back home after a 6 hour drive from L A. Whatta week !! Whatta start !!
Leading the division by 1/2 game, 5-1, .714 , Leading the majors in home runs with 13 (only 107 the entire year in 2013) . A great first leg of our planned 13 trips to see the 81 games.
At that rate, we would have a road result of 58-23. Add an only .500 home season ,(41) , and 99 wins for the year just about guarantees winning the division. We go for that !
Tomorrow our own opener with Tim looking much better . Baseball is known for streaks — let’s see how far we can go with this one.
No blogs until we hit the road again on April 18 in San Diego. Until,
Le Anne and Bert
FLASH!!! We have been asked not to return to Dodgers stadium because we are influencing the Giants to set a record for winning games. Is it possible to imagine that the team favored to win the 2014 World Series would be swept in their opening series, by those kids from SF? We think so!
If Cain can do his part, our Prius will be flying on air, to return in time for the Giants opener. It is hard to imagine we could have a 6-1 starting record. Even a 5-2 road record is a spectacular 1st leg of our 81 for 93 journey memorable.
An unusual incident occurred Saturday at the game. I score every game, as you probably know. I was so excited when Pablo Sandoval homered that he mistakenly made the home run entry for in Posey’s space on the scorecard. He decided not to erase it, in case Buster hit a home run. Who knows what can happen when the Giants are playing this way? That was something to forecast back to back home runs. Yes, we are having a good time.
The Dodger have done a bang up job on the pregame show. Today they had Robin Thicke putting on a mini concert. Actor Jason Bateman was the honorary public address announcer. There were a few more Giants fans at the game today, but still a sea of blue at the stadium. The Dodger fans next to us were a lot more friendly than yesterday, and even joined arms, and made frequent comments about the Brandons. We also discussed Puig. He is such a talented player, yet is immature. It appears he thinks more about I than team and you know what they say…there is no I in TEAM. Baseball is a team sport, and when a player is this selfish it can mean disaster for a team. I was glad he was benched the previous game, and so were the Dodger fans around me.
De ja vu – In Phoenix Cain was given a 4 run lead in the first inning then the Giants did not have a man on base for almost 6 innings. Yesterday, 8-0 in the second inning, and there was no runner for the next 5 innings. Vogelsong did a great job of keeping the Giants in the game. Huff got the big win.
We are not complaining, but it seems strange. Still 4 out of the first 5 games,”ain’t” bad. Madison hopefully keeps it going today.
The Dodgers deserve credit for a spectacular Opening Day. 58,000 plus fans filled the stadium to witness 4 Navy Seals parachuting into Dodgers stadium from a C-130. We got to witness many Dodger greats including Sandy Colfax, Tommy Lasorda, and many others. USC marching band opened the ceremony. There was a special ceremony to honor Vince Scully, the Giants broadcaster. He made an appearance in a 65 blue mustang. His grandchildren carried an honorary pitchers mound on to the field. Magic Johnson escorted Lasorda to the field. The troops from all 5 services unfurled the flag and 3 opera singers from the National opera sand a wonderful rendition of the star-spangled banner.
The Dodgers fans were as rabid as their reputation. Le Anne had a coke spilled on her purse, and jeans and was pelted with peanuts from behind. We saw about a dozen Giants fans brave enough to attend the game. After the game some fans were gracious to Bert and congratulated him on the win.
Winning this series would be an incredible start to an incredible season.
What a great start! Another great come from behind, with 3 homers, and a series win. All that is needed is no lost series to win this division. On to L.A. and the real test. Of course winning 41 of the 81 on the road will help.
Maybe our presence will inspire the Giants to do great things. It was amazing to see so many Giants fans on the road.
The game was temporarily suspended due to a swarm of bees in the outfield. The DJ had a sense of humor and played the Beatles “Let it be” followed by “Don’t worry be Happy”. Let is be was one of the songs played at our recent wedding ceremony. We would “bee” lying if we said we didn’t enjoy this game.
After the game we headed out to Surprise and visited Le Anne’s cousins Marilyn and Bill. Marilyn prepared a wonderful meal and shared family photos with Le Anne. Their house was charming and done in Southwest decor. We plan on leaving at 5 am for Dodger stadium.
Tuesday, April 1 2014
What a 1st game! Typical 2012 Giants story: lose the early lead, catch up in the 7th or 8th inning, and cause the fans to suffer “closer heart failure” before winning in the 9th. Posey and Belt woke up.
Tonight we will see Matt Cain on the mound. Temperature should be highs in mid 70’s and lows in the mid 50’s.
Chase field is larger than AT&T. In case you didn’t know: The red brick and green steel beam design was chosen to tie in with existing architecture in the area. They even incorporated the Arizona Citrus Growers packing house into the stadium. This may account for the fact that the stadium takes up 3 blocks. It was the first stadium that incorporated a retractable roof, air conditioning, and natural turf. The roof itself is 9 million pounds of steel. Two 200 horsepower motors can open the roof in slightly over 4 minutes. The roof is 517 feet across and when retracted has an opening of over 5 acres. A ball would have to be popped up 245 feet to hit the highest point of the roof. More facts tomorrow about the ballpark originally called Bank One Ballpark or “BOB”. Capacity is 48,633 and last night it was officially a sell out, but looked like about 3,000 seats were empty.
Last night Bert went for the traditional hot dog and I went for the Bratwurst with peppers, onions, and spicy mustard.
So Far, so great!
Bert and Le Anne